Danny Holmes, a former KCPD officer, is suing the department for wrongful termination, Tony Rizzo reports from day one of the trial. Officials say that Holmes screwed up a 2003 murder investigation, but he claims that he was punished more severely than his partner. The Star has written extensively about the case, as has the Pitch. The trial is expected to last about a week.
(Sidebar: Nadia Pflaum notes that Holmes says he was treated differently partly because he's African-American -- something that I didn't realize until she pointed that out. I'd seen photos of Holmes before, but he has a very light complexion.)
The case in question involved Guy Coombs, a 25-year-old Cerner sales rep visiting Kansas City for a sales seminar. He went out that first night and was eventually found shot dead in an apartment near 38th and Main, a spot that police knew for drug sales. Holmes, who worked the area, was asked to help by a homicide detective. From Tony's report:
Holmes and his partner, acting on the request of a homicide detective, were seeking information about a missing man when they went to the apartment of a suspected drug dealer.
When they entered the apartment they saw another man with a gun and evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. They also learned that the suspected dealer was a convicted felon who could not legally possess a gun.
Holmes put the man’s gun in a freezer while they questioned the suspected dealer.
He then called the detective, who told him to leave the gun and get out of the apartment, Gregory told jurors. Before leaving, Holmes picked up a box of bullets and took it with him. When Holmes told his sergeant about the incident, he was told to follow the detective’s instructions, Gregory said.